I bet you think you don’t do this. Unfortunately, and I hate to be the naysayer here, you do this as much as everyone else. Every time you walk into the office thinking “I’ll never get everything done today” you are setting yourself up to fail. Your own thoughts bring about negative results. If you think positively instead, you are setting yourself up for success, it doesn’t mean things won’t end badly, but your thoughts and attitude won’t get in your way.
On the other hand, self-fulfilling prophecy can also be external. For example, an employer who expects his employees to be stupid will treat them as if they are less capable. This will limit their ability to learn, limiting their expertise in their field and confirming the boss’ belief that they are in fact, ‘stupid.’ If an employer treats their employees as if they’re clever, they will be more confident in their cleverness and intelligence and will have all around better results. Your confidence in each other improves everybody’s attitude, work ethic, and results.
Self-fulfilling prophecy is the idea that a prediction can indirectly or directly cause itself to be true. Any positive or negative expectations about circumstances or events can affect a person’s behavior, thus leading those predicted events to take place. For example if every day you tell yourself you’re too slow to beat your nemesis at the 50 yard dash, chances are you will stand in your own way and won’t be able to beat them. You have officially talked yourself into failure.
All top performers, regardless of profession, know the importance of picturing themselves succeeding in their minds before they actually do in reality. Something I have been able to translate over to the business arena from athletics is the power of visualization. It is extremely effective when harnessed and used correctly.
Consider these three examples:
- Boxing legend Muhammad Ali was always stressing the importance of seeing himself victorious long before the actual fight.
- As a struggling young actor, Jim Carrey used to picture himself being the greatest actor in the world.
- Michael Jordan always took the last shot in his mind before he ever took one in real life.
These top performers, among many others, have mastered the technique of positive visualization and openly credit it as a success tactic.
When you think of a big goal or dream that you want to achieve, it’s natural to think of all of the obstacles that will come your way. The problem is far too often we allow these obstacles to become so big in our minds that it inhibits us from moving forward. This is when many become satisfied with mediocrity.